Road to Mississippi


By Searon

First off for you to really appreciate this road trip you need to know a few things. I am a single father at the age of 20. My son, Shayne, is now a year old. I got married very young, at the age of 19. It was a bad decision, neither of us were mature enough to get settled down together. I've matured much earlier than most guys my age, due to my life circumstances. I've always thought high school guys were immature when I went to school. However, at the age of 17 my mother suffered from a stroke from medication overdose. Since then she has never really been the same. The once nonstop talking woman now barely speaks a word. I've pretty much been living on my own since 17. My brothers didn't want me when my mom got sick so they shipped me off to my dad in Mississippi while she was still in the hospital. I didn't like the way they did it, and I missed my friends and family. I finally got back to Washington and since then my life has been a big pain in the ass. I moved in with my brother whom forced me to get a job, and start paying him $300 a month for rent instantly. I never got a chance to save. Every penny I got went to affording a cell phone since he didn't have a house phone. Then after that car insurance so he would give me my mother's Hyundai key back that he took from me.

I soon got a place of my own because I hated living with my brother. I was working for McDonalds, and found roommates with two colleagues. They were good people and I enjoyed living with them a lot. They were going out, and eventual had a baby. I met my son's mom at McDonalds and began going out with her. We weren't going out but maybe a month when she found out she was pregnant. She decided to get the doctor testing on Halloween day. This proceeded to destroy my Halloween night. Not because of the fact that she was pregnant, but the fact of how her being pregnant changed her. It was nearly an instant change. Nothing was the same anymore. We were together for a total of a year, and were married for around 5 months before we split up. We got in an argument she brought up after church. When she finally came back home, I told her she needed to either help out around the house or leave. I was getting tired of working full time, getting home tired from work, and having to clean, cook, and everything else that needed to be done. Included on that she wanted me to take full responsibility of taking care of our son, because it had drained her doing so all day. I ended up finding out from my roommates that she wasn't taking good care of him. She decided to leave instead of help out. I tried talking to her after that, with no success. I finally took my son back to visit him because she was treating me like I had to be supervised, which infuriated me. She then proceeded to get an order of protection against me. The hardest moment of my life was when I wasn't able to see my son for 14 days straight due to that order of protection. Before then I hadn't gone a day without seeing him.

Since then it's been a long battle of custody. I've been trying to get full custody, which against a woman is extremely hard. My father paid the retainer for my attorney. I had my two roommates at witnesses to how she parented, though it didn't help. I was only granted visitation 3 days a week for 6 hours each. I got to see my son though. I went into a depression for a while. I missed Shayne and, even her. I kept getting encouragement from my friends that she wasn't right for me. I continued on but very hazily. I knew it was all worth it when I was able to see my son.

I got a surprising phone call one day from my ex's mother. She told me that she had abandoned our son. She was hardly ever home, and just left him with her. She talked to the social worker about what to do, and she told her to call me. I gave my attorney a call the next morning, and was told to get my son in my possession. He filled out paperwork and we had her mom write a declaration for my behalf. I was able to server her papers. She was staying with some new boyfriend out in Portland, Oregon. Until she wasn't able to stay there anymore, she begged her father to come back home. She moved in with him and her grandmother got her an attorney. More custody fighting began. She got visitations every other weekend, until a few months later when her father kicked her out. Since then she has been homeless. She has made some poor decisions in her life, and I can only pray to the lord that she will find her way one day. The entire time I spent without my son I prayed to the lord everyday until the day he gave him back to me.

Since I've got my son back my faith has come a long way. From praying to the lord every single day since Shayne was taken from me, going to church every Sunday. That night I got the phone call that I could get him back; I dropped to my knees that night and thanked the lord. My faith has always been there, but it had been hidden in a depression. When I got him back I had him dedicated and took him to church with me every Sunday. My church threw me a Daddy shower for getting him back and helped me out a lot.

I had been doing floor installation for work. My brother owned the company I worked for. I wasn't being paid nearly enough money to support myself, let alone my son. Only being paid every other week, and his checks being short, which made him short my checks. There wasn't work a few days every week. Besides that he wasn't paying me what I was worth, especially the wood flooring jobs. Our other worker was a carpet journeyman, so he should get paid more on carpet. However, he's only a helper when it comes to wood, and I was the apprentice. I did most of the work that my brother wasn't doing and I still think I made less than his other employee.

I needed a career change. When I was with My wife, it was always our intent to move to Mississippi with my father so I could pick up the pipefitting trade. When we split up I saw that slip into oblivion. She kept making mistakes though, and I couldn't make a living being in Washington. With the way the economy is heading I figured to keep trying. Another court date came up, a review since the last one. I found out that my wife's attorney had dropped her. I talked to my attorney about adding in the paperwork to allow me to move for work. He put it in and when we showed up to the judge my wife didn't show. He allowed me relocation for work. I thanked him and my attorney. I owned my attorney a good amount of money, and also all the bills my wife left me with. I told him when I got to Mississippi I would have no bills and could work on paying him off full time with all my earned money. Getting full custody of Shayne and my divorce was top priority. Then after that came my debt.

I ended up buying myself a 1983 Pontiac Firebird. I had bought it from Craigslist for $600. I was debating weather to sell it or keep it and drive it to Mississippi. I could also leave it at my brother's house. I had some problems with it since I bought it. However, everything that happened to it was a chain reaction to my friend Daniel and I working on it. First thing we did was tried to tighten the throttle bolt. The car was idling low and dying if the brake and gas weren't held at the same time. When we tightened it the throttle bolt busted off. So we had an internal piece still in the throttle spot of the engine and the external part that broke off. We ended up figuring out a "Presidential Solution" to fix it, and shoved a pair of pliers in the spot where the bolt connected the throttle to the engine. We hammered the pliers good in there against the frame. The problem with that was the auto transmission wouldn't shift until 4,000 RPMS.

The next thing that happened to it was my brother helped me install my old car radio and brand new speakers in it. When he drilled the back right speaker into it, he drilled through a speaker wire into the frame. The radio was tweaking bad. He un-drilled it and moved the wire. I asked him,

"Shouldn't we put electrical tape on that?"

"No it seems to of closed up just fine." He said.

Sure enough that night with a date I had, the radio was randomly tweaking a little bit. After getting back to the car, I attempted to start it and it wouldn't crank. The speaker wire against the frame had drained the battery. I tried texting and calling my brother to help me out since it was he that did this to my car. He just kept hanging up at me and yelling in texts that he was in bed. I got pissed, he missed up my car and wouldn't even help me out when he was 5 minutes away. I stayed at the restaurant for a few hours just trying to get the car jumped. Finally got it and went home.

My friend Daniel and I worked on the car the next week. We undid the back right speaker and electrical taped it. We had the battery charged. Sure enough we cranked it and it worked just fine. We went under the hood again and saw that the alternator belt was loose, we loosened the alternator and used crowbar to tighten the belt by moving the alternator. I had to go somewhere and had him test drive it while I was gone.

By the time I got back, the car was all the way down the neighborhood parked by someone's house. I asked Daniel what happened and he said,

"It just completely powered off as I was driving it."

I had several people look at it during this time: Daniel, his uncle, my mom's ex boyfriend Mike, and Daniel's ex's dad. Nobody could figure it out. Finally my brother Ron came over and took a look at it. He messed around under the hood for a while, until he found the problem. The alternator wires were messed up. The idiot who put in the alternator wires did an amazing job of being a dumbass. The wires from the alternator were touching the wires from the car and they were electrical taped. They didn't have crimps on them, and they weren't sautered. I came to realize that Daniel and I using the crowbar to tighten the alternator is what caused the wires to come loose. We taped them back up together and I followed my brother to his house. There we worked on the Firebird. He ended up sautering the wires together then putting electrical tape on them.

After driving it some more, the car powered off again on the middle of a highway with Daniel, Shayne, and two others in the car. We had to walk to Daniel's grandmother's to get a ride. Daniel and I went back out to try and fix it. After a long while of looking for the exact problem; we found out it was another alternator wire. A piece of one of the wires went limp. It meant that the wire inside of it had broken off and wasn't touching. We burned the area off and tried connecting them again. Instead the wire that was attached to the bolt on the back of the alternator stripped completely out of the rubber. After trying a bunch of pain in the ass maneuvers. I came up with an idea to take off the bolt behind the alternator raise the wire to it and tighten it behind the bolt. A temporary fix until we could get it home. After we finally found the right wrench to take it off, a size "10". We were all ready to bring the Firebird home, and then I lost my keys. I had to of dropped them in the grass. It was too dark at this time to find them.

The next day on the way to work my brother and I stopped by the Firebird and he ended up finding the keys. After work he fixed our "Presidential Solution" of the throttle bolt problem. He took off the manifold by the throttle and then threaded the external piece of the throttle bolt. He used a screw and washer to go inside the external throttle bolt in the exact place on the manifold where the throttle bolt was supposed to be. He hooked the manifold back up to the side of the engine. The bolt was exactly in place, though not perfectly straight because it wasn't actually attached to the engine. It was good enough though. It began shifting normally again.

After a while I bought all new alternator wires and rewired the whole thing myself. I had enough problems with an idiot's job to using the same 25-year-old alternator wires with a brand new alternator. After I got all of that hooked up it ran a lot better for a while. I had a door key made for it since it didn't come with one, and I was finally able to open the trunk. The driver's door keyhole was busted in and there was just a hole there. The passenger side I left the lock off because I had to take it off to save money getting a key made. I just stuck it in the centerfold.

Then a storm hit. The next day as I headed to the hospital with Daniel to see my newborn niece. The Firebird overheated on the way there. We had to pull over and we looked at it. The radiator and the overflow were empty. We had to call Daniel's uncle to come bring us water. After filling it partially up we stopped at a gas station and filled it up all the way. We then visited my newborn niece that night.

I tried going to Costless Auto Parts, for a new radiator hose. Daniel and I had found the general area of where it was leaking. They didn't sell that model year and make of that hose. I talked to my brother about it and he told me to find where the leak was. If it was close to the engine to just cut it off. Sure enough when we looked at it, the large crack in the hose wasn't but an inch from where the hose went into the engine. We got our hands extremely greasy getting the hose off, cutting it, and then fitting it back up to tighten it. Finally the last problem of the Firebird was fixed. It had been a pain in the ass to work on. I told myself I wouldn't try to fix anything more on the car until I knew how to work on engines. Just about everything I did made it worse. All the problems were something of cause, except the hose.

I had a lot of stuff to have to move. I was living with my mother in law. I couldn't tell her I was moving because I didn't know how she would react. Weather or not she'd be upset with me, weather I'd have to find a new place to stay for the time being. Or if she'd try and help her daughter out again or not.

Since I had a lot of things to move I bought a 1992 Chevy Astro Van. I found it on Craigslist for $300. The guy was moving and didn't want it anymore. It was a steal, and so I jumped on it. I put $100 to keep it and then by the end of the week met up with him with the rest. He needed it for the rest of the week, but he was moving on the weekend. It had a spoiler on the back. It made it look almost ridiculas but at least it was original. Daniel's uncle and my brother bitched about the spoiler being on there so I finally took it off and threw it in the Van. With the upcoming road trip I should of kept it on to easier recognize the Van. I had Daniel's uncle help me install a CB radio in the van. We had to use the power line from the cigarette lighter. The van's engine sounded nice, and it only had a small oil leak. After getting the CB done, I bought a handheld CB from Daniel's uncle for the Firebird.

Daniel and I packed up the van real good with all of my belongings. We fit my 54" TV in there, boxes, and baby stuff. We also packed up the back of my firebird and backseat next to my car seat. I took my van over to my brother's house and had him install a CD player radio in the van, since it didn't come with any radio. For a road trip I needed something.

Daniel asked his Aunt whom he lives with if he could come with me to help me out on the road trip. She said only if he moved his car away from the house. We couldn't get his car jumped, so we ended up pushing it with my firebird while he steered it, with no power all the way to our friend Mickey's house. At Mickey's we parked Daniel's Honda Accord, my Firebird, and Astro. Mickey was our friend who was doing the road trip with us. His father also wanted to tag along, his name is Mike, and he was my mother's ex boyfriend.

I was a little hesitant about having Mike come, but I was going to take all the help I could get. Everybody doubted my vehicles. Everybody thought I was going to break down on the journey. With all the problems I've had on vehicles. My first car, my mom's Hyundai Elantra, the timing belt broke bending the valves. My second car, a Jeep Cherokee, the fuel pump died after newly being replaced. Then all of my problems I had with my Firebird. I didn't let anybody make me second-guess the trip. I was going to get to Mississippi no matter what. The lord had gotten me this far. He gave me my son back, he granted me relocation. I sure had faith that he would get My son, my friends, and me safely all the way there. I never lost sight of faith.